New KFF Brief Takes a Closer Look at “Tele-PrEP” and the Future of PrEP Services in the United States

In 2020, only 25% of people who could benefit from pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a medication that reduces the risk of acquiring HIV, were prescribed it. Using telehealth to provide PrEP, “tele-PrEP,” is a new approach that shows potential for expanding access to PrEP use in the United States that predates the COVID-19 pandemic.

A new KFF analysis takes a deep dive into the tele-PrEP landscape, from the types of providers offering the service to the successes of the modality and the barriers that remain. Drawing from in-depth interviews with representatives from major telehealth companies who offer PrEP, as well as other types of providers, the KFF study finds a range of models are being utilized to provide the service, and considerable variation in tele-PrEP delivery approaches by provider. These differences have implications for clients, providers, and businesses.

While tele-PrEP offers an additional avenue for accessing services for some, questions remain about its potential to overcome barriers relating to insurance and the role it can play in increasing uptake and addressing persistent disparities in utilization.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.